With all the hysteria regarding this new invasive virus, it is hard to know what is true and what is simply hysteria. So many things are closing, including schools, extracurricular activities, concerts, and sporting events. Products are running low in stores, such as toilet paper, canned goods, hand sanitizer, and cleaning supplies.
We have even heard reports of racial tension with people avoiding those of Asian descent. Is this abundance of caution warranted?
What is COVID-19 – The Coronavirus?
First of all, what is COVID-19? According to the CDC1, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a novel coronavirus that initially emerged from Wuhan,
China causing a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person via large droplets. It is spread from people within close contact with each other, within approximately six feet. These droplets are spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can then infect someone else or someone can touch an object that has been coughed or sneezed on. Common symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. At times, it can become severe enough to cause pneumonia in both lungs, multiorgan failure, or even death. The best way to protect yourself is through common preventative measures, including social distancing, avoiding close contact with sick people, avoid touching your face with unwashed hands, wash your hands with soap and water for at least twenty seconds, and use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains a minimum of 60% alcohol if soap and water is not available. If you are sick, stay home, avoid contact with other people, cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw that used tissue away, and clean and disinfect objects and surfaces. If concerned at all, contact a medical professional for specific testing and supportive care.
Could vitamin C be the wonder vaccine?2 In China, the epicenter of this pandemic, some believe it may be. There is an on-going study in China that is looking at high dose vitamin C and its beneficial effects for fighting this new strain of coronavirus. According to this article, the results are pending but scientists “appear hopeful at the prospect of the vitamin being the answer to what looks set to become a pandemic” and “in previous tests, vitamin C has worked against every virus, if given sufficient concentration.” According to an article in the Harvard Gazette, vitamin C3 is necessary for protecting organs from infections and organ wear and tear, including the lungs.
The article found that the current daily recommended amount of dietary vitamin C may not be enough to adequately protect the lungs.
Another additional treatment for viral infections is vitamin D. In a global collaborative study that was reported on in the Harvard Gazette, vitamin D4 supplementation was found to help protect against acute respiratory infections, in addition to improving bone and muscle health. They found that daily or weekly supplementation provided the greatest benefit, reducing risk of respiratory infection in half in some individuals. Adequate vitamin D levels help to modulate the immune system, innate and adaptive immune responses. Deficiency has been associated with increased autoimmunity as well. This suggests vitamin D helps regulate the immune system against infections such as viruses but also maintaining tolerance to self. Unfortunately, most individuals are deficient in this essential vitamin.
Zinc5 is another nutrient that has implications for the immune system. This mineral plays multiple roles in the normal development and function of immune-related cells. It is thought to function as an antioxidant and stabilize membranes which helps to prevent free radical injury during the inflammatory process of viral infections. Several studies have shown the benefits of zinc supplementation. One study revealed that zinc supplementation can reduce the incidence of diarrhea and acute respiratory tract infections. Another study revealed that zinc supplementation in the elderly resulted in a significant decrease in rates of infections overall.
The best method for staying healthy in this current health crisis is by avoiding contact with people who are sick. Avoidance or social distancing is key. Do not make it easy for the virus to reach your cells. But what do you do when it is unavoidable or you are at higher risk? You have to go to work, go to the grocery store, go to the hospital, etc. Life continues despite COVID-19 spreading. This is where hand washing or hand sanitizers and social distancing are key. But to help improve your fight against infection, boost your immune system. The above supplements can help. Studies have shown benefits for years.
At StrIVeMD Wellness & Ketamine, we offer an Enhanced Immunity IV infusion to boost your body’s ability to fight against viral infections. We can include vitamin C, vitamin D, and zinc to give your body the building blocks for a healthy immune system. Don’t sit around hoping your immune system is ready. Call today and ask about our Enhanced Immunity IV infusion.
- CDC 2020, Coronavirus (COVID-19), 14 March 2020, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
- Day J, Coronavirus cure: Could Vitamin C be the wonder vaccine? China’s doctors think so, 3 March 2020, https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1250062/coronavirus-cure-china-yuan-pandemic-science-virus-symptoms
- Cromie W, Teen Diets can hurt their lungs, 19 July 2007, https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2007/07/teen-diets-can-hurt-their-lungs/
- McGreevey S and Morrison M, Study confirms vitamin D protects against colds and flu, 15 February 2017, https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2017/02/study-confirms-vitamin-d-protects-against-cold-and-flu/
Prasad A, Zinc in Human Health: Effect of Zinc on Immune Cells, 3 April 2008, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2277319/